I must say, I have very few regrets. I am very lucky in that regard. All that said, I do have some, and sometimes they surface, making me ask the inevitable, What if…?
I remember in college my Anthropology professor offered me the chance to be her student assistant during her sabbatical to Mali. I was excited, because that position was usually reserved for graduate students, and I was only a junior in college. That position could mean a slot in the graduate program (which at the time was very difficult to get). But after enjoying the accolades from fellow students, I realized I could never go. My parents were paying for part of my schooling, and my sister’s as well. The money I was earning was barely able to pay for food and incidentals, so I couldn’t save up for the flight and the expenses, since the position was that of an unpaid intern. So, I turned it down, knowing that I was passing up a huge opportunity, but also knowing the timing was not good. Years later, talking with my dad about that, he looked at me as if I had grown another head, and asked me why in the world I didn’t ask. In retrospect, it was fear that kept me from asking. Fear of being told “No”. My dad being a very smart man, told me that not only should I never be afraid of the word “No”, I should also not be afraid of accepting it, or rejecting it.
I used to regret not having gone to Mali. But I am glad that I have learned to regret the things I’ve done, rather than the ones I didn’t get to do, like dyeing my hair a chocolate cherry color.
Now, there’s a regret about which I laugh!!
February 2nd, 2012 at 10:11 AM
been there done that, the hair thing that is, LOL!
February 2nd, 2012 at 10:16 AM
You can color your hair? Who knew?
February 2nd, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Read it again: I DYED it 😛
February 2nd, 2012 at 11:35 AM
I find that I regret the things I’ve done way more than the things I didn’t do. The things I didn’t do are speculations, the things that I’ve done are tangible.
But what can ya do, other than keep learning?
February 2nd, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Sadly, many of my regrets are in the “things I didn’t do” category. Way too many missed opportunities in my past.
February 2nd, 2012 at 1:03 PM
I had three goals when I was young. I nailed one and two, but never learned the saxophone. One and two were much more important anyway.
There are also some great big unforced errors. Interesting, though, that some sets of decisions can be viewed as ‘did do’ as well as ‘didn’t do.’ The temptation is to think that life would have been much better had the other road been traveled, the error not made. Not so fast, Grasshopper. It may be that what now is seen as a mistake could have been salvation from a fate much worse. Can’t know until I’m allowed to inspect the Big Picture.
Anyway, the decision that matters most is ‘What now?’
Thanks, people. For having these conversations, for speaking and listening.
February 2nd, 2012 at 3:42 PM
there are things in my past I would change….. things i certainly wish I had not done. There are things I wish I had done differently- but I don’t complain too much because where I ended is up feels like where I am supposed to be!
February 2nd, 2012 at 5:02 PM
I could write.
February 2nd, 2012 at 7:32 PM
I know your stories. I wish you would 😀
February 2nd, 2012 at 7:43 PM
I regret what I didn’t do far more than what I did.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some huge mistakes, but I still regret far more the things I didn’t do.
February 3rd, 2012 at 7:18 AM
All I have are regrets……
February 3rd, 2012 at 8:32 AM
I could write a veritable series of War and Peace-esque volumes about the regrets I have. I don’t dwell on them and figure that there are MUCH worse roads I could have traveled down and MUCH worse points in the space-time continuum that I could be occupying, had I taken just ONE of those many past forks in the road.
Just keep on keepin’ on and we’ll see how the trip around that fusing ball of gas turns out. It’s not so much how many points you score as how you played the game. (Although scoring really makes the game MUCH more fun!) 😀